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How the Media Helped Legitimize Extremism

A new study, by a respected scholar on internet culture, winds up a penetrating indictment of journalism’s internal inconsistencies

Whitney Phillips’ “The Oxygen of Amplification” draws on in-depth conversations with dozens of journalists to illustrate an uncomfortable truth: The media inadvertently helped catalyze the rapid rise of the alt-right, turning it into a story before it was necessarily newsworthy. Illustration: alashi/Getty Images

By Miranda Katz

For the past few years, reporting on far-right extremism and misinformation has been a messy free-for-all. Sure, there have been some

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